Wednesday, January 26, 2011

On to Brugge!

Making Chocolate and Enjoying Comfort Food!

Tuesday morning we got up fairly early, and took a long walk in Amsterdam's beloved Vondel Park. We also witnessed the passing of a spectacular carriage (not sure if it was a wedding or a funeral) and then returned to Station Centraale to catch our train for Brugge, Belgium. 

Vondel Park
(9 out of 10 Amsterdamer's visit Vondel Park at least once each year!)

Old and New in Amsterdam

The trains we took were locals, so we made a lot of stops. Although it took longer, we passed the amazing skylines of The Hague and newly hip Rotterdam. We changed trains in Antwerp's very cool train station. Parts of this station are stunningly modern, yet other parts are fantastically old. 

Tuesday evening we checked into the lovely hotel De Prinsenhof in Brugge. This hotel is small and feels more like living in the home of an old family friend than a hotel. It is also very close to the historic core of the City.

De Prinsenhof Lobby

Today we went to the morning market and then toured Brugge's Chocolate Museum and saw a chocolate making demonstration. We learned chocolate in moderation is actually health food and it does not cause acne! There's a relief! We had hoped to take a chocolate making class, but they did not get the requisite number of participants, so it was cancelled. Bummer.

Morning Shopping on Bruges Market Square

So we continued our sightseeing. Brugge is truly lovely and on such cold winter days, it is blissfully empty. 

Truly any direction you walk, there is something wonderful. There are two huge cathedrals (one with a Madonna sculpture by Michelangelo that was intended for the beautiful Cathedral in Sienna, but was snatched up first by a patron in Brugge.) 

We saw lots and lots of chocolate shops and ogled the beautiful canals. The canals in Brugge are not like Amsterdam's formalized canals, they are more like the meandering dreamy ones in Venice. Very picturesque.

Miss M and the Canals of Bruges
(OK film buffs that is the tower from the movie "In Bruges" beyond)

After a cold day with a lot of walking, we went into a restaurant with a roaring fireplace and ate "Flemish" comfort food. Miss M had carbonades (beef stew cooked in beer) and I had moules and frites (steamed mussels in a light cream sauce and fries.) Tomorrow is open, maybe we'll go see some windmills!

Roadboy's Travels © 2011

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